UK postpones packaging recycling payment regulations

UK postpones packaging recycling payment regulations

Business

In response to the current economic challenges facing consumers and businesses, the UK government has decided, following extensive consultations with the industry, to defer the implementation of new regulations that require packaging producers to cover the costs of recycling their packaging. Originally scheduled for October 2024, these rules will now come into effect in 2025.

During this additional year, the government will continue its dialogue with industry stakeholders to refine the scheme's design and explore avenues to reduce implementation costs. In anticipation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), many producers have already taken steps to reduce packaging usage and transition to more recyclable formats. This trend is expected to persist, preventing the transfer of additional costs to households.

The decision to postpone producer payments has been made in collaboration with devolved administrations. It aims to provide the industry, local authorities, and waste management companies with extra time to prepare for the effective rollout of the scheme. This adjustment ensures that the scheme aligns with long-term recycling objectives while assisting households facing immediate challenges due to inflation-induced high prices.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: We’re determined to transform the way we collect, recycle and reuse our waste materials so we eliminate all avoidable waste by 2050 in a way that works for households and consumers. That’s better for our environment. We are also listening to industry and ensuring our work to tackle inflation and to drive up recycling go hand in hand, to make sure our reforms will be a success.

The government reaffirms its commitment to achieving its waste reduction goals, aiming to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050 and boost municipal waste recycling to 65% by 2035.

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